Magglio Ordonez has been cleared for game action after taking two weeks off to rest his surgically repaired ankle, so he’ll begin a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A.
According to Jason Beck of MLB.com the Tigers haven’t said how long they expect Ordonez to spend in the minors, so presumably his bat will determine the timetable after he hit just .172 in 26 games before being placed on the disabled list.
Jim Leyland told Beck that he’s “really anxious to see if Magglio can get back in there.” Complicating the issue is that Ordonez will have to play the outfield when he’s in the lineup thanks to Alex Avila’s strong play at catcher making Victor Martinez a fixture at designated hitter.
Platooning the right-handed-hitting Ordonez with the left-handed-hitting Brennan Boesch would limit the wear and tear on his ankle while also giving him favorable matchups against left-handed pitching.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that talks between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players’ Association concerning pace of play changes have stalled, which makes it more likely that commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally implements the changes he seeks. Those changes include a pitch clock and a restriction on catcher mound visits.
Manfred said, “My preferred path is a negotiated agreement with the players. But if we can’t get an agreement, we are going to have rule changes in 2018, one way or the other.”
The players have made several suggestions aimed at reducing the length of games, such as amending replay review rules, strictly monitoring down time between innings, and bringing back bullpen carts.
It is believed that MLB is proposing a pitch clock of 20 seconds. If a pitcher takes too long between pitches, he will have a ball added to the count. If the hitter takes too long, then he will have a strike added to the count.